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Russia drops to record-low 66th place in newly-released FIFA World Rankings

April 12, 15:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The drop followed defeats of the Russian national team in two friendly matches played last month ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

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MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. The Russian national team plunged in the newly-published monthly ratings edition of the world’s governing body of football, FIFA, to 66th place, which is a new record-low position in the ratings history for the Russian squad.

Packing 493 points, team Russia dropped three places lower than last month’s ratings and is squeezed between the team from Slovenia (65th place with 495 points) and Mali (67th place, 462 points).

The drop followed defeats of the Russian national team in two friendly matches played last month ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The hosts of the upcoming world championship lost 0-3 to Brazil on March 23 in Moscow and 1-3 to France on March 27 in St. Petersburg.

The FIFA said in its statement: "March saw a busy month in international football, with a total of 133 games played across the globe, creating much movement in the latest FIFA World Ranking."

"The large number of international fixtures over the last month has led to plenty of changes in the latest FIFA World Ranking, including Belgium reaching the top three…," the statement reads.

The current frontrunners in FIFA’s top-ten rankings are reigning World Champions Germany (1,533 points), followed by Brazil (1,384), Belgium (1,346), Portugal (1,306), Argentina (1,254), Switzerland (1,179), France (1,166), Spain (1,162), Chile (1,146) and Poland (1,118).

"Teams bound for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia grabbed some of the headlines this past month, with holders Germany remaining top - despite a draw and defeat in March - Belgium (3rd, up 2) scaling the dizzy heights of the top three following a thumping 4-0 win over Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia (14th, up 9) and Uruguay (17th, up 5) jumping up the table after each recorded a pair of friendly victories in March," according to FIFA’s statement.

The next edition of FIFA’s ranking list is due to be published on May 17, 2018.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 62 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.

Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.

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